Leadership Development: More Than Just Managing People

by admin25. September 2008 19:00

Thanks to a recent name change from Supervisory Management to Leadership Development, this Moraine Park Technical College program more closely reflects business and industry’s desire for professionals who successfully manage and lead others in the workplace.


According to Pat Olson, Moraine Park dean of business, leaders are needed at all levels of an organization. “We train front-line supervisors and they need to be equipped with the skills and attitudes to effectively lead others in aligning with the organization’s goals,” she said. “This name change more closely reflects the current needs of business and industry.”


Because business and industry value employees who continually improve their knowledge and skills, the Leadership Development program provides a means for working professionals – even those who hold associate and bachelor’s degrees – to return to school for heightened skill development that will directly impact their occupations and careers. Potential students with bachelor or associate’s degrees can complete Leadership Development coursework in two years because general studies requirements have already been satisfied.


Coursework analyzes supervisory and leadership issues geared toward a variety of businesses and industries, nurturing skill development related to leadership, human relations, budgeting, problem solving, team building, quality and safety. Delivered in an accelerated format for working professionals, courses are available in a variety of formats: face-to-face, online and interactive video conferencing (IVC). Each class meets just once weekly for six weeks, according to Mary Vogl-Rauscher, the Leadership Development lead instructor. “By having the classes once per week, it’s easier for working students to schedule work and family time,” she said.


As an accelerated associate of applied science degree program, Leadership Development allows students the flexibility to complete the degree at their own pace. “A student can take one class per week and graduate in three to four years, or take two classes per week and graduate in two years,” said Vogl-Rauscher. Courses also can be customized for on-site company training.


The program is not designed for recent high school graduates. “If classes weren’t comprised of working adults, students wouldn’t have as much to share,” said Vogl-Rauscher. “What’s neat is that the teachers and students are executives and employees from a variety of industries – a mix of people bringing different perspectives and experiences to the group. The students learn as much from their classmates as they do from their instructors – a very unique environment for learning.”


Ultimately, graduates exit the program versed in leadership and supervisory skills.


“I believe that with great skills and fortitude individuals can be excellent supervisors and managers; however, it takes that extra fortitude and finesse to be a great leader,” said Marla Pearce, human resource director for Fox Lake Correctional Institution and a Moraine Park Leadership Development program adjunct instructor. “I don't believe a manager/supervisor and a leader are one in the same. Being a leader means you set the pace. You hear it all the time – ‘lead by example.’ Embarking on the leadership program with Moraine Park will allow individuals a great starting point for their future and for the betterment of their communities.”


Core classes for the Leadership Development program run every six weeks over a period of two years. Individuals interested in starting the program may join the sequence of classes at any time. There is no particular order in which the classes must be taken.


To learn more about Leadership Development visit www.morainepark.edu and click on Academics, or call